Exotrail wins support from French government to develop propulsion technologies for GEO smallsats

The French Armament General Directorate, through the Defence Innovation Agency, is supporting Exotrail to develop technologies allowing small satellites to operate in geostationary orbit. Under the RAPID programme, a funding framework operated by the Defence Innovation Agency, Exotrail will mature its technologies and extend their product portfolio to provide thrust vectoring and cold gas propulsion capabilities for customers.

A microsatellite equipped with Exotrail's mobility technologies in GEO orbit (artist view)

When operating in geostationary orbit, small satellites face unique constraints not served by the market today. With this programme called PROXIMA, Exotrail will develop thrust vectoring and cold gas propulsion using unique in-house expertise and capabilities. These new features, together with the existing electric propulsion systems ExoMG™, will allow Exotrail to offer the market a complete and coherent hardware system to maintain and control the orbit and the attitude of a spacecraft in geostationary orbit.

“The Defence Innovation Agency was created to accelerate innovative projects and companies” said Emmanuel Chiva, Director of the AID. "Today we are supporting Exotrail because the technologies they have and are developing meet our needs, as well as needs from the commercial sector. It is a pleasure to work with them as part of this PROXIMA project".

“Market demand for small satellites in GEO orbit is rising, and this is coming both from the institutional and commercial worlds” said David Henri, one of the four co-founders and CEO of Exotrail. "This is going to accelerate in the next few years and thanks to this contract we will be ready to serve the needs of our customers with world-leading innovative solutions."

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